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Fueled By death cast



Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 24 - DAVID DASTMALCHIAN

ACTOR (ANT-MAN/BLADE RUNNER 2049) - DAVID DASTMALCHIAN

“The important thing to me about telling stories, and why I love doing it, is because I think that they remind people that they are not alone” - David Dastmalchian, actor - Batman: The Dark Knight, Ant-Man, Animals, Blade Runner 2049

 

PREVIEW:

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ON EPISODE 24:

The Science segment reveals a 110 million-year-old dinosaur fossil found in Canada, and it is one of the best-preserved fossils ever found. If your life was a movie, would you be the hero? Listen to What Fuels You this week to figure it out. Plus news about new merchandise from Death Wish Coffee, the Death List, Birthdays and so much more.

ABOUT DAVID DASTMALCHIAN:

David Dastmalchian is an actor with an impressive body of work in such a short time. He comes to the show to talk about what it was like having roles in Batman: The Dark Knight and Ant-Man, his upcoming roles including Blade Runner 2049 and why he continues to love acting and telling stories.

TRANSCRIPT:



Jeff: Let's start at the beginning. You started out acting, from what I know, in the theater.

David: Correct.

Jeff: I am always curious to hear how people kind of got into the profession that they did. What was the antithesis that got you into acting, to begin with?

David: When I was a kid, I just was obsessed with movies, and comic books, and all things that, I think, were spurned by the imagination, role-playing games, and stuff like that, and playing ... Make-believe was a big part of my childhood. I remember my mom taking me to see a production of the play by Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap, which is a dark little play, a murder mystery, and I just ... The experience of sitting in the theater and, at the top of the play, the house is completely dark, and you hear this guy whistling Three Blind Mice, and then you hear this poor woman screaming and being choked to death, and then the lights come up, and the play begins, and I was hooked.
Just like probably every other human that's ever graced this Earth, my childhood was a mix of wonderful memories and some really difficult times, and I think my imagination got me through some of those difficult times. My brother, who's six years older than I am, had played Captain Hook in the ... at my Oak Park Elementary School in Kansas, they did a production of a musical once a year. When my brother was in sixth grade, they did Peter Pan, and he played Captain Hook. I'll never forget, the night of the show, his costume laid out in my mom's room, and that plastic hook that they had gotten, and him putting on the mustache, and just being so in awe of it all. When I was in sixth grade, they did Peter Pan again and, of course, I was desperate to get to play Captain Hook, and I did. I'd say, that moment forward, the bug had bitten me.
Growing up in Kansas, I found some really wonderful outlets for a lot of my interests, but there was some wonderful community theater where I grew up so, once in a while, I would get to participate in something there, and then when I got into high school, I was involved in lots of different things trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. I was worried that I wasn't going to get to go to college because, at that point, my mother and I ... Funds were definitely tight. I was a pretty adept football player, and I was getting looked at by some pretty good Division II schools, so I was kind of thinking that I was going to go to play college football and then ... I wanted to study English and theater and, at that point, the reality of working in film and television just didn't even seem like something worth the entertaining of the imagination of. I thought I would love to become a high school drama teacher, and maybe that was going to be my path.
Then I had some really incredible teachers who had both come from a professional background in the theater, had spent time in New York and had relocated to Kansas where they'd raised families, but they ... I did a play my senior year of high school, and I did a one-man kind of performance for the National Forensic Society for their contest. I did Peter Shaffer's Equus, and I did Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio as one-man plays where I would perform all of the characters.

Jeff: Whoa.

David: The teacher came up to me and said, "You know, I really think you should consider doing this." I think somebody of that stature saying something like that to me kind of shifted the paradigm in my mind of what the reality of my adult life could entail and gave me the confidence. They helped me set up auditions for some big training programs, one of which was DePaul University's theater school in Chicago. I not only got accepted, but I got the scholarship that I would have needed to go to school, so I moved to Chicago, and I started a life in the theater, which lasted for, on and off, a very long time, lots of other chapters in there, but I think that that's all that led to me ultimately getting to make a living as a professional actor.

Jeff: That's awesome. I've heard actors always talk about the difference between being on stage and being in front of a camera. Where did that transition kind of happen for you where you kind of left the stage and then started acting in television and movies?

David: Then once that became the reality, then I wanted to train and become the best actor I could possibly be. Eventually, my dream was to go to Hollywood or to go find a way to work in film and television. I had so many heroes, and inspirations, and the kinds of dreams like so many of us who work in this field, I think, have. I kind of left acting for a bit to get my life put back together. I had a couple of setbacks in my early 20s, and I had to figure some things out about life, and then I was back on my feet, and I was kind of making my way into ... because of the kindness of friends who knew me from college were putting me into some wonderful theater like off-Loop theater in Chicago and then ... and I just ... that quickly escalated.
A casting director who had known me from when I'd first shown up in Chicago brought me in to audition for a television commercial, and I got it. It was for a cell phone commercial, Cingular Wireless. They were doing these dropped call commercials where I was calling my father-in-law, and he was unable to hear me because the call dropped, but I thought he was ... totally awkward conversation because my joke had bombed. That was a really short spot, but I flew to New York. The director of the commercial was ... at that time, I didn't know that it was who he was... had made one of my favorite films, at that point, a documentary called American Movie, a director named Chris Smith, and he-

Jeff: Great documentary.

David: Yeah, it's brilliant. It's brilliant, and he's brilliant. He and I just got on like gangbusters. We ended up becoming very close, but over the course of shooting that commercial, and even in the process of auditioning for that commercial, I learned very quickly, for me, the mechanism by which I could make the transition from stage acting to film and TV acting. This is just what works for me. It's totally different for every actor, but it's all the same work. Everything is basically almost identically the same, the way that I would perform a role. The difference is that the camera is the audience, so it just, strictly technically speaking, changes the dynamics of everything.
If I'm doing The Glass Menagerie in a theater where there's 100 or 200 people, I have to be cognizant of the fact that I need the person who's about 60 yards away from me to experience this story that I'm trying to tell. When I'm doing something in front of the camera, I just imagine that that audience member ... I mean that's the starting place that I begin from is that they're literally just inches or a few feet away from me, and it changes the way that I use my face, my body, my mouth, my voice. Aside from that, it's pretty much ... it's the same. There's different muscles that are utilized, but for me with film and television acting, the critical skills involved require you to be able to hit authentic emotional or psychological manipulations with your face and your body and your voice so that the audience believes that you're experiencing what it is that you're supposed to be experiencing so that they can suspend their disbelief.
You do the same thing in the theater. In film and television, you do a take, and then they can adjust the camera, and you do the take again, and you adjust the camera, and you do the take again. You could take input from the director or the ... feel the actor that you're working with, see how that's going. The same thing happens on stage, I feel like, every night. It's never the exact same performance, but you're definitely using all the skills that you've got at your disposal to try and recreate and hit all those notes throughout the scenes the way that you did the night before.

Jeff: That's so interesting.

David: For me, the transition went pretty smoothly, I'd say. It felt great. I loved being on set. Then that commercial afforded me the luxury of being able to just become a full-time actor. I mean and I say full-time meaning it was lean. I wasn't rich, but I was able to then not have to keep the day jobs that I was working at that point. This was in Chicago in 2007. Then I got a chance to audition for The Dark Knight, which came to Chicago, and the casting director's assistant actually recognized me from that Cingular commercial.

Jeff: Awesome.

David: He brought me in to meet the casting director, and I was auditioning for one of the bank robbers that are in the opening heist sequence of the film, the clowns. Fortunately for me, this casting director seemed to think that I was a good fit to play a paranoid schizophrenic who would be a thug of The Joker, so I never actually read the scenes that I would be doing. I never even really knew what I was going to be doing until I went to shoot, but I got that role, and then, to me, that was the thing that I'd been waiting for, this ticket that I needed to go to the film and television world. I wanted a credit to legitimize my ... and be able to show up and be like, "Okay, I'm ... this is ..." That was the bridge I needed.

Jeff: That's a hell of a credit because anybody who's seen The Dark Knight remembers the scene that you were in. I mean it's one of the most iconic scenes when Harvey Dent is yelling in your face and Batman shows up. It's like a dream come true, and you are a comic book fan.

David: Big, big, big comic book fan, yes. I'm sitting at my desk right now as I'm talking to you absolutely feeling embarrassed that my desk is such a mess. I have to clean it because it's covered with comics right now.

Dustin: That's awesome.

Jeff: That's the best type of desk.

Dustin: You're in good company, man.

Jeff: Yeah, that's the best-

Dustin: I have to ask, do you take that as an insult when somebody's like, "Hey, you'd make a good paranoid schizophrenic?"

David: No. I think it's wonderful. I think that it's interesting. I mean I joke around, and I say, "Oh, should I be offended?" but I think that I ... What I strive to do, and I think the people that have hired me have attempted to do with the stories that they're telling, is to skew as far from possible from the general and get to the specific, so if we're not interested in just creating a cackling, mustache-twirling villain like we've seen ... In my opinion, it explains the failed major comic book film and television outings of the last 10 years, and it explains the successful ones of the last 10 years.

Jeff: Totally agree.

David: Do you know what I mean?

Jeff: Totally agree.

David: That's not to say that a comic book film has to be done as seriously or as dramatically as, say, The Dark Knight was. That's not what I'm saying at all. It means, even in something that might be lighter or more bright with color or humor, that you still want to approach these characters with something really specific. I feel like I've been very, very, very, very lucky. I'm grateful that I have the skills that I have as an actor and the passion that I have to work really hard at the stuff that I love, but I've been in the right place at the right time a number of times, and people who have an immense amount of talent as directors, I'm so fortunate, have wanted me to play these complicated roles.
I've never spoken to one of these directors who's hired me to play a role, like my character in The Dark Knight, or my character in Prisoners, or my character on any of the number of shows or films that I've done, who have wanted anything other than somebody fully fleshed out who, in their mind, the character's mind, is, if not the hero of their story, definitely you could look at as a victim. I feel that way about Thomas Schiff in The Dark Knight. I feel, if I was to step outside of him and look at him objectively, I could say that I felt really bad for that guy because I feel like he had an illness and that was exploited by somebody stronger and more manipulative than he could ever imagine.

Jeff: Totally.

David: I think that makes for more interesting storytelling. I think, in the world that we live in right now, we see millions of people got the wool pulled over their eyes by a corrupt and evil politician in the last year, and I think that you don't ... It's so easy for me to get on social media and go, "Well, these are just racist, misogynistic idiots," but I don't think that's true. I think these are people who put their trust in ... where we see it every day, and not just in politics. We see it in every facet of our lives, at home, with our families, but I think that that's real, that's interesting, and that's stuff that people are going to want to sit and watch.

Jeff: It's totally true. You said how you're lucky being able to portray the characters you've been able to portray. I just want to say I feel we, as an audience, are lucky to have an actor like you who takes that upon himself to really immerse himself in a character like that. Kind of on that, another iconic character that you've played in recent years is Kurt from the Ant-Man movie, and you get to reprise that role in the sequel, The Ant-Man and the Wasp, which I believe comes out next year.

David: Yes.

Jeff: How is that for an actor? Because you're not only getting back in the headspace of that character again, but you do a very impressive Russian accent for that character as well. Is that a different kind of process to kind of get back to that character?

David: Well, thank you. Thank you, my friend.

Jeff: Yay.

David: I'll be, for next couple weeks, probably spending a lot of time around the house ... will be speaking in the voice of Kurt and watching a lot of Elvis Presley films because he is greatest human ever walked Earth. Thank you for saying that. I love-

Jeff: Yeah, that's so good.

Dustin: Thank you for saying that. That was amazing.

David: I love getting to play Kurt, but that experience is so unique in my kind of canon of work that I've done. I was so honored and thrilled that the people that made that film wanted to include me, especially the ... Tonally, it's not a character that I had done before. Sometimes, when it comes to Hollywood, it's very easy for you to be pitched, I think, to casting directors, and directors, and filmmakers, and studios kind of by what people would consider your core strengths, so if you were to-

Dustin: Yeah. I feel like it kind of stepped outside of your typecast of-

David: Absolutely. I have a lot of gratitude for a lot of people for that opportunity. Sarah Finn, who's the casting director of all of the Marvel stuff, I mean she has such an awesome job, and she's so awesome at it. Her whole team of casting associates and assistants at her office, they're so awesome, but they ... I don't know why they did, but they let me come in and readjust ... I just read for them first. I came in, and it's just you, and the casting director, and a couple of her assistants. I came balls-to-the-wall, man. I wore my polyester pants, and I had my shirt that I thought was very Kurt, and I had ... At that point, I had a beard because I thought maybe he would have a scruffier beard, and had my hair done up, and a gold chain.
They liked it enough that they brought me back in to read for the director, at that time, who was Edgar Wright. Edgar had just recently seen me in Prisoners, and he also had been hearing about an indie that I made that had just played at South By Southwest called Animals, so he was kind, and he was intrigued, and he allowed me to do my Kurt. He seemed to really respond to it, so then he brought me in in front of, basically, the studio and the star, at that point, Paul Rudd, and fortunately, again, you do this thing called a test where they bring you in a room with the actor and ... [inaudible 00:18:23] Pena had already been cast as well, so we were just improvising and doing the audition, and Paul liked me, and so there's so many people who ... I, fortunately, passed the test.
The way that that film worked, and as far as I understand, a lot of the Marvel filmmaking magic works, is that they have a script that they love, and they go into making the script but, each day, they really love when their actors are creating on the spot and people are coming up with ideas on the spot, so those guys did so much improvisation, and I was just trying to keep up with them and throw my little jokes back.
Then, obviously, it's no secret that that film fell apart for a second, and the director left, and there was some public question as to what's going to happen with this film. Then Peyton Reed, wizard and amazing human that he is, got this job, and he came into what I can only imagine was such a tough job to jump in and to get to direct a film that someone else had been attached to for a long time. He's such an awesome, awesome fricking director and such an awesome guy, and he wanted to keep me around as well. He had the opportunity ... I mean I was a disposable commodity at that point, so they were still changing things up, and so, luckily for me, he wanted to keep me around. Now we'll get ready to dive in here shortly, and I can't wait. I haven't seen a script yet, but he's kind of told me about what's going to be happening in the film, and it is going to be so awesome, man.

Dustin: I know. Stop.

Jeff: I can't wait too.

Dustin: I'm getting pumped.

Jeff: I loved the first Ant-Man. In fact, I've said to multiple people that you three, Pena, you, and T.I. as the crew, did such a good job almost stealing the movie from Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas that I would love if, down the road, they do just a heist comedy spinoff with just the three of you where you guys can just get into some antics trying to rob a bank or something. I think that'd be a great movie.

David: Oh, man. I love it. I'd love that. I would love that. Yeah, and it's cool because you think of Paul Rudd, I mean, he's the guy that usually would be there being the comic relief in a film [inaudible 00:20:53].

Jeff: Totally.

David: He's the hero, and he does it so well. He really embodies this kind of reluctant hero that goes on this journey in Ant-Man, and he's just poised in such a different way than we've seen him before, so I was honored that I get to be in these scenes with this comic legend who is playing the hero now and I get to be throwing jokes around. It was really awesome.

Jeff: That's so cool. Moving forward a little bit and talking about some of the stuff that you have got coming up like Ant-Man and the Wasp, I have to ask because it's premiering this week, and we're so excited about it. You are involved in the brand-new Twin Peaks.

David: My name is on the cast list, isn't it?

Jeff: It is on the cast list.

David: Yes.

Jeff: So you have some sort of involvement.

David: I do.

Jeff: Did you kill Laura Palmer?

David: That's ... Yeah, that's about-

Jeff: Is it your fault? Did you kill Laura Palmer?

David: I think as much as I am allowed to say is that I think everyone should definitely get their Death Wish coffee brewed, and their doughnuts, and their cherry pie, and cut it up this weekend. I'm really honored to be a part of that, yeah.

Dustin: It's so legendary, man.

Jeff: I'm so stoked for you because you have that coming up, you have Ant-Man and the Wasp, but you are also rumored to be attached to the new Blade Runner. I don't know how much you can talk about that, but-

David: That's awesome. I think that's such an awesome rumor and that ... I can confirm that that's real.

Jeff: Yes, yes.

David: That is absolutely real. I actually worked on that film ... it's been a while now. We shot my stuff in the summer of last year in Budapest, Hungary.

Dustin: Wow.

David: The man who is the visionary filmmaker that is making that film, Denis Villeneuve, is one of, I think, the greatest filmmakers of our time, and I think that he's just ... he's a living legend, and I'm so fucking lucky to be a part of his vision for this film.

Jeff: It's so cool.

David: I can't wait. I can't wait for people to see it. I saw they released a trailer last week that is so gorgeous and-

Jeff: Yeah. Oh, my God. It gave me chills.

David: Yeah, yeah, me too. I obviously haven't seen a frame of anything unless I have to go to ADR and it's ... The reality of what I do is also such that I've never been a part of a film, from The Dark Knight to Prisoners to anything, except for the things that I've written and produced myself, where I don't know, when you finally go to the movie theater and actually see it, if you'll see me because that's the nature of films and editing, that things can be wonderful on the page, and they can be wonderful in shooting, and then they go to edit them, and they change. For me, I live in a place of gratitude and joy in the work that I get to do, so the work that I got to do on set was such a joy. It was such an incredible experience, and I hope and pray that it makes it to the end, to the final cut, but if it doesn't, I got to say that being back in the ring with Denis was ... oh, man, it's such a dream. He's such a dream.

Jeff: That's so cool.

Dustin: Do you actively pursue these comic book/sci-fi roles?

David: No. Well, this sounds like I'm being silly, but I actually mean it. Actively in my mind, in my intentions, I think in the way ... the places where I choose to put my energy and ... The audition for Ant-Man just came out of blue. My agent, at the time, I'm sure submitted my name along with ... there was every other actor, probably, in town trying to audition for every film that comes into town. I feel that I've spent a lifetime putting energy and intention behind the kinds of stories that I want to tell, but the only thing that I have control over ... Let's say something comes up on Deadline or something. You say, "Oh, my God. Denis Villeneuve is going to direct the new ... They're going to do a Joker origin story," and I would just be clamoring. You can email your agent and go, "Oh, can you please submit me for that?" but they do that anyway. Do you know what I mean?

Dustin: Right.

Jeff: Yeah.

David: Your agents, if they're doing their job, are submitting you anyway. I found there's very little ... and I learned that the ... an interesting lesson along the process of Blade Runner because, once Blade Runner was announced, I definitely tried everything up my sleeve to see if I could get considered for that film.

Dustin: Awesome.

David: My agents, I bugged them to email the casting director, and it was just ... I learned through that that that doesn't ... it wasn't what did it. I didn't get ... none of that bore any fruit. What ultimately did it was just Denis having read the script and saying, "Oh, this part right here is for David." Then, when got I got offered that role, that's how that happened, so I can chase things all day hounding my agents, but I ... For me, that process never worked, so what I do is, with my energy, I keep investing in reading the things that I love and that inspire me, which a lot of the time, includes comics, but not just comics. I love lots of other stuff. The kinds of stories that I love, the kind of movies that I love, I bury myself in that, and then I make my own projects, and I create my own opportunities.
In 2013, we made a film called Animals that I'm incredibly proud of, which is out and available to the world. The director of that film, Collin Schiffli, who's also one of my best friends, and I teamed up again last year, and we made a new film called All Creatures Here Below. We're thinking about calling it All Creatures. That stars Karen Gillan and an incredible cast of actors. That's how we've gone about creating our own opportunities. I just got a new film called Hide Your Eyes that we're going to be shooting this year that I wrote. That's a long answer to your question, but-

Jeff: That's so exciting, though.

David: The answer is yes, I do. I do put a lot of energy into it. I just ... I think not in the way that actors who are coming to Hollywood think that you do it. It's definitely a kind of pounding the pavement, but it's generally more internal in my mind and making my own [crosstalk 00:27:45]-

Dustin: You think maybe it has something to do with that you're excited and passionate about it and that's recognized?

David: I think so. I hope so. I feel like it definitely is an ace in my sleeve when I happen to get on an elevator with Kevin Feige at Disney when we're doing press, and I am kind of terrified and in awe and like, "Hello. Nice to meet you, and by the way ..." Five seconds later, he and I are just at the races talking about comics and the things that we know and that we have in common, and I was ... I can not just hold my own, but for people that share a similar passion for these kinds of stories, find a common ground of engagement, and I think that's useful and helpful. The same with the kind of films that I love, the kind of storytelling that I love, because I also am deeply in love with art house independent film that poses completely different kinds of questions than, say, a superhero film might. I think that they're both absolutely just as important and just as healthy and just as necessary to audiences. You know?

Jeff: Totally.

David: I think the only thing that isn't necessary is the garbage that is general and nonspecific and that ... I'm not saying that if you're going to go make a Fantastic Four movie that you have to have some deep social message. That's not at all what I'm saying, but I do think that you have to honor the stories from which they came in your performance, in the way you direct a film, in the way that you tell a story. You have to honor that history and these incredible characters. These are our Greek myths that we have in the 20th and 21st century. This is our Greek mythology. You know?

Jeff: Oh, my God, totally. Finally, the question we ask every guest on this show and pertaining to you, you're going out there, you're actively pursuing these roles. The roles that you get, you jump head first in, and you give it your all to do it. You're writing movies. You're also acting in movies. What fuels you to keep getting out there and to keep pushing yourself every day to keep doing this?

David: Coffee.

Jeff: That's the easy answer.

David: Two things. The technician in me, the craftsman in me, the worker in me is constantly driven to want to create and support the best life possible for my family. I have a wife who runs her own business that she's very passionate about as well. We have a son, and we're about to have a little girl coming in a couple weeks.

Jeff: Congrats on that.

Dustin: Mazel tov. That's awesome.

David: Thank you. Yeah, that's happening like, yeah, within the matter of days and weeks.

Jeff: Wow.

David: That is a great deal of gasoline in the engine. When I wake up, and I look at this family that I love, and I want to provide the best for them, and I also want to show my kids that you can pursue and follow the dreams of things that you love, you just have to work your fucking ass off at it every day if you want them to see that. The other thing is that I ... and this goes back to what I said about earlier about whether it's a comic book hero movie, whether it's a great horror film, whether it is a straight-up Gus Van Sant, art house, independent, to-the-extreme film. The important thing to me about telling stories and why I love doing it is because I think that they remind people that they're not alone.
I think one of the darkest times that I've had in this life and being on this Earth have come from the times that I've kind of been tricked into believing that I was alone. I think that I will, to the end of my days, be kind of fascinated with this existential idea that I wrestle with. I think telling great stories and doing it in the best way you can possibly do it, no matter what the genre or format, theater or whatever, is reminding people they're not alone, so that's something that drives me. You know?

Jeff: That's excellent, and that's really inspiring to hear from someone in your stature as well.

David: Thanks.

Jeff: Finally, where can people find you? If they want to follow all the things David, where can they find you and kind of follow you?

David: @dastmalchian, so my last name. I believe that's my Twitter, and I have a Facebook page that I post on regularly, which is just my name, David Dastmalchian, and then ... I am sorry. Somebody rang my doorbell. Oh, hi.

Speaker 4: Hi.

David: How are you?

Speaker 4: [inaudible 00:32:43]

David: You have a delivery. That's so wonderful. Sorry, guys.

Dustin: Yeah.

Jeff: It's all good, man. You're getting presents. It's all good.

David: Well, [crosstalk 00:32:50]-

Dustin: I hope it's more coffee.

David: Must be for my wife. Is this for Evelyn?

Jeff: It's always for the wife.

David: Oh, it's for David. It's for me.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dustin: Oh, sweet.

David: Yes. Where do I sign? Here?

Speaker 4: Here on the X, yeah.

David: Okay, great.

Speaker 4: Thank you.

David: Wow. I'm so [inaudible 00:33:05]

Speaker 4: Yes.

David: Thank you.

Speaker 4: Okay.

David: Thanks. I got it.

Speaker 4: Bye, bye, bye.

David: Bye. Wow.

Jeff: All right. Presents and everything.

David: Is this from you guys?

Dustin: I don't know. Is it?

Jeff: Is it? That'd be crazy.

David: It's two dozen roses, white roses.

Jeff: Then it's definitely from Dustin and I.

David: I'm so confused [inaudible 00:33:29]. All right. Now you guys have to ... We're going to do this live.

Jeff: Okay.

David: Well, not live.

Jeff: But recorded, sure.

David: We're going to do this. I'm awfully glad I came downstairs because I heard the doorbell ring when I was answering your question, and I didn't ... This is fascinating.

Jeff: You got a bunch of roses.

David: Oh, it's really beautiful. It's actually ... it's really ... It's kind of personal, so I probably won't talk about it on the show.

Jeff: Okay.

David: Well, oh, man, that made my tears well up. It's a really dear gift from ... My friends Elan and Molly, they sent me some flowers because I recently ... and I know you guys and I emailed about this. I recently lost a very close friend named James, and he was ... He actually owned the comic shop in Kansas City that I grew up going to. He lost his life tragically this past week in Kansas City in a robbery at his store. That's what these flowers are for. That's so sweet.

Jeff: That is so sweet.

Dustin: That's nice.

David: Oh, love these guys. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they're really ... oh, they're wonderful people. [crosstalk 00:34:50]-

Jeff: A shout-out to them.

David: Yeah, shout-out Molly, Molly C. Quinn. She's an amazing actress. She's been on tons of stuff. She's a friend of mine though ... and so is Elan, her boyfriend. Elan has been making The Bachelor now for, God, I don't know how many seasons, and they're about to release their new season. Anyway, yeah, Molly and Elan are friends that I made through my friendship with James Gunn, who is an incredible human being, and he's a kind of a magnet for incredible people, except for me, but he has a really great circle of friends. Anyway, I met them through James, and they're really great people, so-

Jeff: Well, that's so nice of them to do that.

David: [crosstalk 00:35:41] way. Considering that we were just talking about how much good storytelling reminds people they're not alone in their suffering and in their mourning, I think receiving this gift was actually pretty fitting.

Jeff: Pretty poignant.

David: Yeah, yeah.

Jeff: Yeah, really great. I'm kind of honored that we got to be a little part of that. That was really nice.

David: Yeah, I [inaudible 00:36:03]. Thanks for you guys wanting to talk to me today. I'm honored, and I hope the listeners enjoy it, and [crosstalk 00:36:08]-

Jeff: Yeah. Thank you so much, man.

David: Yeah, of course. You guys have a wonderful rest of the day, and we'll do it again sometime.

Jeff: Okay, you too.

Dustin: You too, man. Cheers.